Issue 113: Jingle Bells

This is Jingle Bells time of year with a vengeance. Last week I taught it on recorders, boomwhackers, chime bars, keyboards, ukuleles, xylophones and glockenspiels. And on piano. And in samba.

Mostly, I used the letters; here it is for everything except recorders and ukuleles.

E    E    E             E    E    E

E    G    C        D  E

F    F    F    F       F    E    E     E E

E    D    D    E      D          G

E    E    E             E    E    E

E    G    C      D E

F    F    F    F        F    E    E     E E

G    G    F    D       C

I hand out sheets, BUT NOT INSTRUMENTS, and we go through saying the letters together in the correct rhythm several times. Then I set the children to work. I’m a great fan of encouraging independent work, so I will dish out the instruments and leave them all to get on with it, circulating to make sure that everyone has got the right idea.

Boomwhackers and chime bars; arrange the children in teams of up to 5, give them the boomwhackers or chime bars for C D E F G. Explain that each line has 8 counts, otherwise they will play jinglebellsjinglebells all in one stream and let them loose.

Xylophones and glockenspiels; encourage the children to practice WITHOUT BEATERS a few times until they get the hang of it. They will also have to be told to play it SLOWLY (otherwise they will start off at singing speed or faster, and give up too soon) and to practice each line several times.

Keyboards; Practise playing the tune on the table or the floor a number of times before attempting it on the instruments. You may want to number the notes C1 D2 E3 F4 G5. Emphasise that EVERYONE is able to play EEE EEE, and MANY will manage E G C D E, and only SOME will cope with the second and fourth lines. If you can’t play all of it, join in with the bits that you can – this is a useful skill in itself.

For the samba, I divided the class into two groups. Half wrestled with the tune, and the other half learned the percussion parts: Surdos play on beat 1, ganzas on 1 2 3 (JinGleBells), tamborims on beat 3 (jingleBells).

Ukuleles; the chords are (you can use G7 for G)

line 1 C / / / / / / /;

line 2 F / C / G / / /

line 3 C / / / / / / /:

line 4 F / C / G / C C

for recorders, the notes are

B B B   B B B    B D’ G  A B; C C C C    C B B BB   B A A B     A      D’

B B B   B B B    B D’ G  A B; C C C C    C B B BB   D’ D’ C  A  G

I think the hardest part is B D’ G, straight after the “Jingle bells” bit; it is well worth doing a bit of “listen and copy” on that before trying to play the whole tune.

contrary motion divider

This entry was posted in Keyboards, Lessons that have happened, Samba, The organised teacher, Ukulele and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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